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submission guidelines

Please submit digitally to marissamoss(at)crestonbooks(dot)co.

Multiple submissions are fine, but no more than one project per month from the same author.

Please paste or include the text of picture books or first chapters of novels in the body of your email rather than as an attachment. PDFs of dummies showing art as well as text are fine to attach. TEXT FILE ATTACHMENTS WILL NOT BE READ!

Before submitting, make sure to read these words of advice:

If your text is in rhyme, read it aloud to be sure it's not lumpy, bumpy, or forced. Rhyme has to be absolutely seamless to work in picture books and it's rarely done well. At the first awkward rhyme, an editor stops reading the submission because a parent will do the same. 

If your story is about a common theme in children's books (the alphabet, colors, first day at school, sibling rivalry, etc), know what other books are out there on the same subject. If you don't have a strong, distinctive take on an old motif, your book won't be able to compete in a very crowded market. So do your research and know the business. 

If your text has misspellings and grammatical errors, it shows a lack of professionalism and carefulness. An editor will stop reading at the first mistake, as will any reviewer, teacher, or librarian. 

If you want to submit more than one story or a revision of a previously submitted story, please wait a month between submissions. Any writer submitting more often than that will not have their work read at all due to the high number of submissions. 

Children are the most critical audience of all. If you write down to them or preach a message, you'll lose them. Picture books look deceptively easy because they're short. They're not, because each word counts, just like in a poem. For more information on how to develop skills as a children's book writer, consider joining SCBWI, the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. They provide excellent resources and help fledgling writers learn the profession of children's books.

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